Philips, John

Philips, John
   He was born at Bampton, Oxfordshire, where his father was a clergyman. Educated at Winchester College and Christ Church College, Oxford, with the intention of becoming a doctor, he chose the path of literature. Samuel Johnson comments at length on the work of Philips, which is centered around three works. One was The Splendid Shilling (unauthorized 1771 and authorized 1775), a burlesque that was praised by Joseph Addison (see entry) as being one of the best poems in the British language. Another was Blenheim (1705), written to commemorate the Duke of Marlborough's famous victory over the French at Blenheim in 1704. The third was Cyder (1708), written in imitation of Virgil's Georgics and an exact account of the culture of the apple tree and of the manufacture of cider with many local allusions to Herefordshire. He died of tuberculosis, was buried in Hereford Cathedral and is one of the poets memorialized in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Some of his other poems: "Cerealia," "Ode to Henry St. John, Esq. 1706," "The Fall of Chloe's Jordan," "The Thirsty Poet," "War Poetry."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Samuel Johnson's Lives of the English Poets, 1779-1781 ( The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 ( The Faber Book of Drink, Drinkers and Drinking. Simon Rae, ed. Faber and Faber, 1991. The Faber Book of Useful Verse. Simon Brett, ed. Faber and Faber, 1981. The New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1984. The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry. Vol. I: Spenser to Crabbe. John Wain, ed. Oxford University Press, 1990. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Poetical Works of Samuel Butler. Thomas Park, ed. J. Sharpe, 1808. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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